Sunday, 27 January 2013

Choosing a backsplash for my kitchen

One never knows where they will find inspiration, I found it in the ladies washroom!  I kid you not, I was at our new office on Wednesday and in the washroom was this beautiful white, glossy, large subway tile.  I wondered, where would one find subway tile that big?

On Thursday I was at HD and there it was, on sale!  They measure 4” x 16”.  Each box covers 10 square feet and was only $20. I need 40 square feet but bought an extra box to allow for cuts and breakage. Total cost, $100! I am considering adding in some decorative tile depending on the layout once I have new counters installed. I am trying to avoid cutting the length of the tile.


I will be using 1/8” spacing with a light grey grout.  The large size will give a lovely linear look and won’t be too busy, after all, I have a small kitchen.

In other kitchen news, I had to replace the drawer cabinet as it was falling apart. The cheapest one I could find was at HD. On sale for $99, it was right in my price range. excuse the mess.


I am a little overwhelmed by all of the choices and pricing things out at a cost that my budget can afford is a lot of work.

Next step is getting an over the range microwave installed. That involves cutting my cabinet down and a friend has offered to do that for me.  Rather than putting doors back up over the microwave, I am going to leave them off and put baskets above the microwave, so that I can easily take them out to access my spices. Once that happens, I will start my door rehab with added moulding and painting.

These are the handles I have chosen for the doors. They are local to me, so I can pick them up. I am going for the 8” handles to be proportionate to the size of my doors. They are solid, not hollow and the price is amazing at only $2.39 each. They are in the Toronto area, if you are interested here is the link to the posting on Kijiji  A lot cheaper than the ones at Ikea for the same thing.

$(KGrHqZHJEsFDMtWwZZ-BQ3Y6 G!4!~~48_35

So that’s my update. There is still lots more stuff to consider and be done, but it’s a starting point.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Flowers and projects I’m working on

I’ve spent the week researching and pricing out my kitchen spiff up; man, stuff is expensive!  Now I’m thinking I may have to scale back my project.  Another thought occurred to me too, why don’t I just refresh the kitchen and use the money that I would have spent on a vacation!  Somewhere warm, with free flowing cocktails, tropical breezes, lots of eye candy and a vast ocean.  I haven’t had a holiday in 3 years.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on a few projects, but first I wanted to share some flowers with you.

A girl that I was very close to as a child asked if I would make a balloon flower bouquet for her daughters 16th birthday today.  Yep, happy to. The bucket that they are in is a waste paper basket from the dollar store.

balloon flower bouquet -

The amaryllis that I got from my best friend last year bloomed again this year!  This is a miracle for me as I usually kill all plants.


I mixed up some diy chalk paint using a free sample pot that I picked up at the recycle centre. The colour is Benjamin Moore’s Mount Saint Anne which is very similar to the ASCP robins egg. I painted yet another cutlery chest, added some gold to the edges and gave it a couple coats of wax.

diy chalk paint -


I also recovered a storage ottoman that will sit at the built in desk, in the kitchen.  I will be fitting it with a hanging file folder frame, which will provide some needed storage. 

recovered storage ottoman -

Last but not least, I’m working on painting a three piece set of tables that I bought a couple of months ago.  There is this end table, a sofa table and a coffee table, all three pieces were only $55. I plan on selling it and buying a new built in microwave for my kitchen update, pretty clever huh? lol

diy chalk paint -

I know!  Lots going on but I’m doing it all at my leisure, no pressure.  Have a great weekend.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Now you see it, now you don’t–hiding a thermostat

Why are thermostats installed in the most ridiculous places; mine happens to be in my dining room. 

While it may seem obvious to hang a frame over it, it requires free air movement along the top and sides so that’s not a viable option.

hide a thermostat at

After 10 years I have finally come up with a way to disguise it that is really simple. I nailed a long nail in to the wall above the thermostat and hung the mirror on to the nail. Where’s that easy button when you need it!

hide a thermostat at

hide a thermostat at

Now you see it.

hide a thermostat at

Now you don’t

hide a thermostat at
It’s not centered because the thermostat is not centered, but close enough.
A big thank you to those that left encouraging comments on my kitchen rehab. I admit that I am a little nervous about all of the work, but I’ve given myself plenty of time to do it so I will just take it easy and get ‘er done.

Sharing with

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Friday, 11 January 2013

My big project for 2013

In my dreams I have enough money to rip out my ghastly kitchen and put in a new and modern kitchen. In my dreams :) My bank account laughed at me when I suggested we should make this my goal for 2013. So instead I am going to set myself a budget, a small budget, and update my kitchen cosmetically.

The cheap way to update a kitchen is to replace the doors/drawers. Well, even that is not in my budget. I am going to trim out my existing cabinets with some mdf moulding, repaint them and live with what I have.  I stopped by HD on my way home from work today and picked up a piece of pre-primed mdf, cut it and clamped it to one of my doors.  I think it will work. 


The reason I am going with a thinner moulding (it measures 1.5” x 5/8”) is because my cabinets are all different sizes. Some of them are very narrow and thick moulding would take up almost the entire door.  You will see what I mean in the attached picture.


So here are my plans and I hope to have everything done by my birthday in August, and I will be doing all of the work by myself.

* Add moulding to doors and repaint all cupboards. I will be updating my bifold doors on my pantry using bead board and try to get them to match.  Install new pulls.

* cut down cupboard above stove and put in an over the range microwave in stainless steel to match the existing stove.

* replace laminate countertops with butcher block from Ikea

* remove the bead board wall paper and replace it with white subway tile

* replace sink, not sure how I am going yet, hopefully an under mount. The faucet has already been replaced.

* remove broken ceramic tiled floor.  This is a heartbreaker since I only had it installed 2 years ago. My kitchen sits over my garage and it turns out the joists in the kitchen move which caused the tiles to break all over the place.  I should have known better because the tile that was here when I moved in did the same thing.

* install Allure vinyl plank flooring

* remove the crown moulding; I did not do a good job on it.  I will be repainting so I’m going to tint the ceiling paint with a slight blue and bring it down over the bulkhead to the tops of the  cabinets.

* install a new bank of drawers when I replace the flooring. My cabinet is falling apart, no better time to replace then when replacing the flooring. 

* install new lighting. I will be getting another ceiling fan in the eat in area because they work well. The lighting over the cabinet area will be replaced.

* get a new to me stainless steel fridge.

* make a panel cover out of bead board for my dishwasher.

Are you exhausted?  I am and I haven’t even started yet. *jokes*

I plan to share every step of the way with all of you. Maybe you can glean some new ideas for your own kitchen.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

A new mirror– saved from someone else's diy attempt

If I could also fit "my $25 dining room update" into the title, I would do that. This room was updated by upholstering my chairs in thrift store Ikea curtains (see the details in this post) and a mirror that I found at the Goodwill for $5.  Everything else I already had in other parts of my home; use what you have, eh!

I scoured my house, digging through boxes, bins and my craft room to put the finishing touches on my dining room.
Junkin Junky

One thing that I needed was something nice for on the wall other than the “D” that I had up.  While digging through my box of frames, I found these two (there are three, but I can’t find the third) pictures.  I love the worn chippy gold look of them.

Junkin Junky

I found this sad mirror that someone had painted a hideous brown, over what was a really nice gilt gold … so sad.  It was originally $29.99 at homesense , $10 at the goodwill, and 1/2 price day, so $5!!

Junkin Junky

After removing the left over painters tape from the crevices, which took forever I might add, I taped paper over the mirror and took it outside to spray paint it. I only had one can of gold and it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but I could make it work.

Junkin Junky

Much too bright!  I rubbed on some burnt umber paint then wiped most of it off which helped to tone down the gold. It was still too bright and not warm looking at all, so I took out my black distressing ink and went over it with that, rubbing it in as I went.  So much better now, don’t you agree?

Junkin Junky

I took the roman blind off of my french door, yep I did. I believe in using what you have even if it means my door is now naked. It fit perfectly inside the window frame.

I just love the room now, at least until I tire of it.

Junkin Junky

My Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaUndertheTableandDreaming

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Upholstered parson chairs

It wasn’t too long ago that I updated my dining room with fabric, but I have decided that I no longer want as much green as an accent colour in my home. I have already made slip covers for my parson chairs in white so another colour was due.

This is the direction I am going in…blues and creams and greys and touches of green, all very natural.


Making the covers was simple but time consuming. I started with a new pair of Lenda curtains from Ikea that I picked up at the thrfit store for $20.  I really like the blue of them; like a well worn men’s chambray dress shirt.

I took the chairs apart and basically followed what was already there (bi-cast leather).
To make the top slip cover, I draped the fabric over top and pinned down each side.  Sew up the sides, trim to 1/4” and then sew the top corners straight across. This is all the sewing involved, easy peasy.


The seat was covered and stapled on and the chairs put back together.  My existing white slipcovers still fit over top, so I can have two different looks.

I’m saying goodbye to the green roman shade as soon as I decide what I want to put up there. Eventually I will refinish my table, but if there is one job I hate, it’s painting furniture.
Happy new year all!